Fender Bandmaster Amp 2x12 , 1964 Vintage

Posted by Marc on Mon, 12/30/02 - 15:00:19.

I need help with my amp. Can anyone tell me what the original speakers were, I also have poor performance as far as output. I know it has the original tube's, Any suggestions???. The reverb circuit is not working either...... worth fixing???



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Re: Fender Bandmaster Amp 2x12 , 1964 Vintage

: I need help with my amp. Can anyone tell me what the original speakers were, I also have poor performance as far as output. I know it has the original tube's, Any suggestions???. The reverb circuit is not working either...... worth fixing???

Is it worth fixing? YES YES YES!!! You have a vintage sweetheart here! First the speakers were most likely Jenson's. I don't think Fender had switched to Oxford as their supplier yet in 64. Also, Jenson is now making these speakers again, in case you ever decide to replace the originals, however as long as there's no tears or any damage to the original speakers, then you should have no problem, and vintage speakers do tend to sound better for most styles of rock music (new speakers tend to be overly -tight- till they break in...good for country).

As far as the performance/tone/reverb issues...you said the tubes are original? Thats probably the whole problem! Before you do -anything- else to the amp, change those suckers!!! If you can afford them, go with Groove Tubes..their a little pricey, but well worth the cost. If not Audio Glassics, Sovtek and a few others are acceptable brands as well. Something to keep in mind about tube amps. Most people who own tube amps and play on a regular basis, usually change their tubes every 6 months or so. I've known guys that gig like 3-4 times a week, that change their tubes as often as every month! If the tubes in your amp are original, your talkin about tubes that are almost 40 years old...I'm suprised the amp works at all!

Now with that said, -after- you replace the tubes, if your still not happy with the performance, it may also be worthwhile to take the amp to a competant tech and have the caps (capacitors) replaced as well. Your older "paper-based" capacitors, such as those found in early 60's amps, do tend to break down over time and tend to "leak".

I have a 73 Bandmaster (head, no speakers...ran thru a 2x12 cabinet), and I have to honestly say that I just love that amp! I have a few other amps including Peavy, Kustom, Lab and even a small JMF Spectra...all of which are good amps, but when I get on stage, I usually have my ol' Bandmaster! Your's is even more vintage then mine and it's pre-CBS...definatly a jew indeed! I would almost kill for one of those amps! Of course, somthing else to keep in mind is the style of music you play. Fenders/old Fenders are great for stuff like blues, jazz and most classic rock, however if your a serious metal head, then you just may wish to dump the vintage Bandmaster and try and snag yourself a hot-rodded Marshall or a Mesa!

A little extra info for ya since you seem to be new to "Vintage amps"...the circuit(s) used in your Bandmaster are for all purpose the exact same as say a 65 Twin. Early Fenders, were all pretty much the same (barring power ratings of course). If you look at any Fender wiring schematics, you'll see that almost all early Fender tube amps were pretty much designed the same and they were all pretty much based on the original RCA tube schems/specs (why Leo Fender didn't get sued when he made amps like the Model 20 beats the hell outta me...).

Hope this helps! If you decide you don't want to bother with the amp, please send it this way!!! (LOL)
Gentle Breezes to you!
Jim

Re: Fender Bandmaster Amp 2x12 , 1964 Vintage

you should take the tubs to someone that can see if they are still in good shape if not have them put new ones in but they have to reset the bias in the head because the tubes are different now. If you don't you will not get the best sound out of them and with the speakers the original were jensen c12n or better were the oxford 12t6 these will be better if you play loud or a bass through your amp. If yours are original and just don't work then get them reconed witch some people say its not good but it is you just need to brake them in by playing them or hook up your sterio to it with the bass up. e-mail me if you have any more Q's

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